STOP: Borisoglebsk checkpoint is Russia's northernmost land border to Scandinavia. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Gates closing at Russia's borders

Russia closes all its borders from March 30 in an attempt to curb the coronavirus.
March 28, 2020

Until now, Russian citizens staying in Norway and Finland could return home via the border checkpoints in the north. Storskog-Borisoglebsk on the Norwegian-Russian land border and Lotta-Raja-Jooseppi and Salla on the border between Finnish Lapland and the Kola Peninsula.

Likewise, Norwegians and Finnish citizens could leave Russia the same routes.

By closing hours Sunday night that comes to an end.

Prime minister Mikael Mishustin’s governmental decree on closing the borders gives only a few exemptions. Diplomats and their families, international truck drivers and members of official delegations will still be able to enter and exit the world’s largest country.

Also, Russians leaving the country to take part in funerals of close relatives are exempted from the strict rules.

Russia on Saturday reported a record one-day jump in new coronavirus cases, up 228 from Friday to a total of 1,264.

Many believe the figure is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Traffic from the Kola Peninsula to Norway via Borisoglebsk, Storskog has been very limited the last week with only a few border-crossings per day.

The last Norwegians in northwest-Russia went back to Norway this last week, including language teachers at the universities in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, some gymnasium students at the Norwegian-Russian school in Murmansk and a few people with dual citizenship living in Norway. 

Maritime borders, like the port of Murmansk, and international airports are also closed. Next week will be a non-working regime all over Russia, the government informs. 

All hotels in Murmansk are closing down this weekend after a decision by governor Andrei Chibis, Murmanski Vestnik reports.  

Hotel Arktika is the largest in Murmansk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

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